More trouble for crypto ads on Facebook ahead — here’s why

Meta’s’ conduct violated the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
  • Meta’s conduct violated the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), says ACCC.
  • Says Meta uses technology to detect and block scam ads.
  • Russia labels Meta’s Facebook, Instagram an ‘extremist organization’.

LAGOS ( — It is a situation of an unending lawsuit for Meta (formerly Facebook) as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) sued the tech giant over scam crypto-related ads.

The ACCC said it is suing Facebook parent company because it knowingly published crypto ads designed to scam people. The advertisements which breached the country’s law featured prominent Australian public figures who endorsed investment in cryptocurrency or Ponzi schemes.

Australia’s’ top consumer watchdog alleged that Meta is guilty of misleading the public by publishing scam ads on Facebook. Meta’s’ conduct violated the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Act.

The posts used the image of Mike Baird, Dick Smith, TV presenter David Koch, among others, to endorse their scams. The regulatory body noted that Facebook users believed these scams were genuinely associated with these celebrities.

The ACCC explained that the essence of the lawsuit is to ensure that Meta answers for publishing the crypto scam ads on Facebook. The Australian top consumer watchdog said:

“Meta aided and abetted or was knowingly concerned in false or misleading conduct and representations by the advertisers.”

ACCC Chair Rod Sims also alleged that Meta was aware of the crypto scam ads on Facebook. He further explained that Meta did not take adequate steps to address the issue of scamming on its platform.

We Have Technology Used To Detect And Block Scam Ads —Meta

Meanwhile, while reacting to the lawsuit, Meta said it had cooperated with the ACCC’s investigation into the matter. In addition, the Facebook parent company noted that ads that scam people and mislead users violate its policies.

The company revealed that it uses technology to detect and block such posts, saying the company doesn’t support it. However, in an emailed statement, Meta’s spokesperson also indicated that the company will review the recent filing by the ACCC and “defend the proceedings.”

It is worth noting that Facebook in 2018 banned the promotion of crypto-related ads and blockchain businesses. However, the platform later reversed its decision only to include initial coin offerings.

However, it has been hit by many lawsuits in that regard. In February, Australian billionaire Andrew ”Twiggy” Forrest brought criminal proceedings against Meta’s’ platform, alleging it failed to take preventative measures against false crypto ads that used his image.

Sims also noted that the ACCC is aware of a consumer who lost about $650,000 due to crypto ads scams.

Russian Court Bans Facebook, Instagram

In a parallel development, a Russian court banned Facebook and Instagram in the country, labeling Meta as an “extremist organization.”

The ban comes after Meta said it would allow social media users in Ukraine to post messages urging violence against Russian President Vladimir Putin. The ban prohibits Meta from doing business in Russia. It will also immediately ban Meta’sa’s’ family apps within Russia.

Facebook, More trouble for crypto ads on Facebook ahead — here’s why

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